Mtb Holiday Gift Guide – For Her

It’s that time of year again! Have a mountain biker in your life and no idea what to get them this holiday season?  Well, you are in luck because I love making gift guides! Here is one just for a lady shredder.


1. Blackburn Barrier XL Mud Guard

Mudguards are essential for your mountain bike if you don’t want to get muck splashed on your face when riding a wet trail. These Blackburn guards are size XL (for a fat bike tire) and have an awesome topo design on them. I would love a set of them for my fat bike!

2.  Crankbrothers M19 Multi-Tool

Multi-tools are a necessary piece of gear that you should always be carrying with you on a ride. Crankbrothers makes this awesome one with 19 important tools in case you need to adjust something when on the trail.

3. Race Face Chester Composite Pedals

I have these exact pedals on my fat bike. They were a Christmas gift last year and I love them! There are many colors to choose from and they also come with steel pins that keep your feet glued to the pedals when riding.

4. Buff Heavyweight Merino Wool Neckwarmer

This Buff neckwarmer looks super cozy and would surely keep your neck warm while riding.

5. Fox Racing Attack Fire Softshell Jacket

This fleece-lined softshell would be awesome for winter riding. I like that it is water repellant and has large pockets.

6. Race Face Half Nelson Locking Grips

I’m a sucker for snazzy grips and these Race Face grips look so fun with the topo design. They also come in an array of hues because we all know matching bike components matter!

7. Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HVC Tire Pump 

This pump doesn’t look that cool, but it is a KEY piece of gear to bring riding. Jordan has this exact pump and it fits right in his pack. I may or may not steal it when I’m on rides without him. It is compatible with Presta or Schrader valves and works like charm for filling a tire on the trail.

8. Shredly Lace Cham

This super cute cham would make long rides a bit more comfortable (even though nobody would see it…) and is definitely on my Christmas list!

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Where to Mountain Bike in the Capital Region

Now that I’ve been mountain biking for about 2.5 years, I think it’s time I shared a post about my favorite places to ride locally! I learned to mountain bike on these trails, so they are as good as any to learn to ride, improve your skills, and get some exercise! My favorite app for finding new trails is called TrailForks and you can find maps of all these trails on this app.

Best Bet for Beginners: North Bethlehem Town Park, Guilderland

Not only is North Bethlehem close to Albany, it has many features, such as bridges, berms, wooden drops, and obstacles like logs to ride over. It is a great place to practice riding over things and is also a great place to practice riding fast!

There are still a few features I’ve yet to try but I’m hoping soon I’ll be able to ride everything here! The trails are windy, so it is also great for learning how to corner properly. It is one of the places I feel most comfortable riding solo, as well as at night, as the trail never strays too far from the main lot and there are always people around.

Luther Forest, Malta

Luther was one of the very first places I ever rode a mountain bike! The actual first place was Millstone Trails in Vermont, but that’s another story! Luther is another great place to ride, especially if you are learning. Trails are flowy and there are some good climbing sections.

Colonie Town Park, Colonie

Colonie is another one of the very first places I rode a mountain bike, which is saying something because some of these trails are hard! There are lots of roots and rocks and steep climbs and descents here. There is also some double track if you are just starting out and want to ride something easy. It is also right next to the Mohawk Hudson bike path, in case you really want to bail and ride on the paved path. The reason why I liked starting here is that it makes the other local trails seem easy. A lot of these trails are very fun to ride! My favorite is the Pasta loop.

Gurney Lane Bike Park, Queensbury

Gurney is a bit of a hike, located right off of exit 20 on Northway. BUT it is totally worth the ~ hour drive because these trails are incredible. They just may be my favorite trails in the area. They are fast, flowy, and there are even two new downhill style trails (E20 and Tango) that are super fun to ride. I never get tired of riding here! My favorite combo right now is riding Coaster to Salsa to Race Course for a super fun section. The trails are all very well marked and labeled according to difficulty.

Well, there you have it! Each of these places is very beginner friendly, while still fun to ride. If you are interested in learning to mountain bike, have any suggestions on where to ride locally that I haven’t mentioned, or just have a question, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment. 😀 Happy riding!

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Hiking Mount VanHoevenberg – 10.14.17

Last month when my sister came up from NJ for her birthday weekend in Lake Placid, she wanted to do an easy hike with great views. I suggested Mount VanHoevenberg! It was only about 4 miles RT and boasted great views of the high peaks. The trailhead is located on South Meadows Rd, which is a dirt road off of Loj Road in Lake Placid. There were cars lined up along Loj Road (busy day in the high peaks, I guess), but there weren’t many on South Meadows. We parked, met up with my parents who were joining us for the hike, and set off!

My dad loves to hike

The trail starts out easy. It curves around a pond and then starts to climb. It wasn’t ever too steep.

It took us about 2 hours to get to the summit. It was a cloudy day, but there were still some great views! It must be incredible on a clear day. If I were hiking my usual hiking speed, I probably could have summited in an hour.

Overall, it was a fantastic hike! I would highly recommend it to anyone just starting out, or if you are looking for an easy, quick hike in the High Peaks/Lake Placid area with some fantastic views.

Mount Van Hoevenberg
Distance: 4.5 mi RT
Total time: 3 hrs, 43 minutes (including stops)
Ascent: 915′
Elevation: 2,922′

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Riding Lussi and Loggers Trails in Lake Placid

Last weekend I was in Lake Placid for my sister’s birthday. We rented a cabin at the ADK Loj, did some hiking and then had dinner at Big Slide Brewery. I’ll get to the hike later, but now I want to recap the trails Jordan and I rode while we were up there. My sister and her husband Brian left early on Sunday to drive back down to NJ, so Sunday was the perfect time to hit the trails. Our friends Jason and Aubrey met us at the trailhead just outside of Lake Placid on Riverside Drive. The trail system (called Lussi and Loggers) is right off the famous Jackrabbit Trail.

Trailforks is my favorite mtb app, it has trail maps that are categorized by difficulty; very handy to have while on the trail!

 

There are lots of features to ride here. The trails are technical but not to horrible, as I could ride everything, minus a few of the skinny bridges. Lots of roots and rocks, though!

And plus the views were just amazing.

Riders have the option of riding down the boulder below. Not me, yet…

We covered about 13 miles in ~4 hours. It was my longest mtb ride yet!

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Mountain Biking Getaway Weekend in Vermont

This past weekend was pretty epic! Jordan and I went to Vermont with our good friends for some mountain biking in Vermont. We left Friday morning, arrived in the Northeast Kingdom around noon and hit the trails. We started the weekend at Victory Hill near Kingdom Trails. There is one main double track climbing trail that leads to all of the other trails in the network (there aren’t that many), but most are downhill-style trails with lots of roots and rocks. I did two runs, mostly because I was tired of climbing after the first climb and wanted to save my legs for Kingdom Trails the following day. I rode Leifs and Mac Attack, both of which I found challenging but rideable (for me!). I’m finding that I’m a lot more comfortable on descents and just despise grueling climbs.

After the ride, we went to stock up on groceries for the weekend and then headed to our rental house, which was a sweet place right near Burke Mountain. The next morning we made breakfast and hit Kingdom Trails, which we could ride to right from our door. The day started out cool and cloudy, but eventually cleared up. It was a great day of riding. We covered about 12 miles with 1,400 feet of climbing until I rode up and over the end of a berm and crashed, landing on my knee! I was not wearing my knee pads (mistake!) so I chose to end my ride and wait for our group at Mike’s Tiki Bar.  Highlight of the day: descending down Moose Alley (and managing to stay on my bike!). Runners up include Sky Dive and Nose Dive, which were fun trails too.

 

 

Jordan and the rest of the group continued riding and finished up around 5:30. After enjoying some craft beverages at the Tiki Bar, we headed back to the rental for dinner! The guys grilled up some brats and burgers, a perfect way to refuel.

The next morning it was below freezing, so we decided to go to the Lyndon Diner for quick and cheap breakfast and wait for the temps to rise a bit. Deciding against a second day at Kingdom (sadly) we drove to Barre, Vermont to ride at Millstone Trails, located in a granite quarry. This was where I rode a mountain bike for the very first time two years ago! It was fun to go back as a more experienced rider, even though the trails here are so difficult, I was rarely riding the bike.

(Below= a portion of the trail I could actually ride!) Highlight of the day: riding down roller coaster at the end of the day.

Total miles for the weekend: ~ 25 (the most for me on a mountain bike)
With every ride I gain more confidence, push myself to conquer obstacles on the bike and become a better rider. I never thought this day would come, but I’ve left running behind for a greater thrill. Mountain biking has become my sport of choice as of late and I’m looking forward to sharing many more mtb adventures!

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